London: Former England captain Mike Brearley said international cricket needs more context and support from administrators to stop players from choosing lucrative Twenty20 leagues over the traditional Test format.
Brearley cites the example of South African AB de Villiers, who is sitting out of the ongoing Test series in England and is tipped to retire from Tests this year to prolong his career in limited-overs cricket.
“My view is that not everything that could be done to preserve and encourage international and especially Test cricket has yet been done,” said Brearley, outgoing chairman of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) world cricket committee.
“ICC is trying to make improvements to scheduling and to context. The countries need to make a big push for increased context, including proper competition through a Test championship. They must create windows for Test cricket and be willing to try out all sorts of measures — more day-night matches, lower gate charges in some places, offering spectators more and using every resource to publicise Test cricket and create stars,” he added.
Brearley, however, acknowledged the players have a right to earn their livelihood.
“There’s no blame attached to the individuals for making such choices,” said the 75-year-old, who played 39 Tests between 1976 and 1981.